Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells) explores uncomfortable territory in sex and power
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – OTTAWA, April 23, 2019 – Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells) is a daring two-hander that asks whether an intimate relationship with glaring power imbalances can be anything but coercive. It depicts a relationship between a 15-year-old high school student and her English teacher, exploring questions of consent, sex and power. Written by Toronto-based playwright Rose Napoli, it was nominated in 2018 for a Dora Award for Best New Play, highlighting Napoli’s unflinching honesty in difficult territory. It is on the GCTC main stage with two previews on April 30 and May 1 and an opening night on May 2. It runs until May 17, 2019.
Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells) stars two of Ottawa’s most beloved actors: Geoff McBride (Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet) and Erica Anderson (Gracie). The production reunites Anderson and GCTC’s Artistic Director, Eric Coates (Gracie, The Virgin Trial), who directs the play.
This is a play that demands a sensitive, skilled cast, and Coates could not be happier with the pairing of Anderson and McBride: “The material in this play demands a strong chemistry despite the large age gap of the two actors. Erica and Geoff are working on a highwire, of sorts, as they navigate the difficult emotional territory of their characters’ relationship. I am humbled every day by their work,” says Coates.
The play follows a young high school student, Laura (Anderson), and her English teacher, Alan Wells (McBride), as they fall into a dangerous sexual relationship. The story is told through the eyes of a now 25-year-old Laura as she looks back on what she thought at the time was love, critiquing her past from a feminist perspective.
After a wildly successful premiere in Toronto and subsequent production in Halifax, Lo is poised to make an impact in Ottawa. Reviewers have praised playwright Rose Napoli’s skill as a playwright and noted the play’s importance.
“Napoli is certainly an accomplished writer with a fine sense of situation and language.” – Intermission Magazine
“Lo (Or Dear Mr. Wells) reminds us of the uncomfortable truths we must continue to face.” – Now Toronto
To ensure that the sexuality in the play is handled with the utmost sensitivity, respecting the boundaries of the actors and the audience, Megan Piercey Monafu has joined the team as Intimacy Coach. A relatively new role in the theatre world, intimacy coaches create choreography for sexual content and ensure that the safety of the actors is prioritized.
Erica Anderson: Laura
Geoff McBride: Alan
Laurie Champagne: Stage Manager
Eric Coates: Director
Seth Gerry: Lighting Designer
Jason Hopkins: Apprentice Stage Manager
Vanessa Imeson: Costume Designer
Venessa Lachance: Sound Designer
Megan Piercey Monafu: Intimacy Coach
Rose Napoli: Playwright
Brian Smith: Set and Props Designer
OPENING NIGHT FOR REVIEWERS
Thursday, May 2, 2019. Curtain is at 8:00 p.m.
Performances begin at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday–Friday. Saturday performances take place at 4:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Sunday matinee performances begin at 2:00 p.m. There is a pay-what-you-decide performance on Sunday, May 5 at 2:00 p.m. and a post-performance talkback will take place on the main stage on Thursday, May 9.
Tickets are on sale now at GCTC’s box office at 1233 Wellington West at Holland, 613-236-5196 or GCTC.ca. Regular ticket price range: $42 to $58; Rush Tickets $15 for students; $33 for adults.
Tickets can be purchased in person from the GCTC Box Office after noon on the day of performance. Valid student ID required for Student Rush.
THE FRITZI GALLERY
From April 30 to June 2, 2019, the Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC) and The Ottawa School of Art (OSA) will present Silence No More by Kamill Santafe at the Lorraine “Fritzi” Yale Gallery. In this exhibition, Santafe displays a series of largescale artworks that use materials boldly and deliberately, creating imagery that speaks to Satanfe’s passion for activism. A vernissage, with an opportunity to meet the artist, will take place Tuesday, April 30 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. GCTC’s partnership with the Ottawa School of Art is supported by Cube Gallery.
GCTC is celebrating its 44th season in 2018–19. We continue to foster, produce and promote excellent theatre that provokes examination of Canadian life and our place in the world. Now in the last year of a 3-year strategic plan, GCTC aims to increase the diversity on it stages, diversify its audiences and deepen their experience. GCTC also continues to embrace artistic risk and to ensure a wide range of theatrical experiences.
For more information or to arrange interviews, contact:
Marketing and Communications Manager
Great Canadian Theatre Company
613-236-5192 ext. 229